Donation, grant revive low cost spay/neuter

In 2002 Heidi arrived at the right door. She was a tiny pregnant stray cat, in desperate need of a home and help, and she found the love and care she needed.

In April, 2014 Heidi became ill and despite the best efforts of her family and some highly skilled specialist vets, Heidi lost her battle with an aggressive form of leukemia.

Heidi’s devastated family wanted to create a significant memorial for Heidi and as a result of that tiny cat’s early days without a home for herself or her kittens, they have chosen to honour her with a remarkable donation to Cowichan Cat Rescue’s Low Cost Spay/Neuter Program. Heidi’s Legacy is a gift of $5,000 to that program. As a result approximately 45 cats owned by people living below the poverty line will be spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Hundreds, very likely thousands, of unwanted kittens will not be born into lives of deprivation as a result. This is not the only good news Cowichan Cat Rescue has recently received. CCR had applied once again to the CVRD for a contribution to the low cost program and were recently notified that the sum of $3,231 had been approved and will be arriving soon. An anonymous donor has in the past matched donations to this program and once again he is doing so, matching the CVRD funds dollar for dollar.

"This is fabulous news for the residents of the Valley," said Jean Hamilton of Cowichan Cat Rescue. "After many months of no spay/neuter assistance in the Valley we are getting back to work. We are thrilled to be able to announce that we are once again accepting applications."

The program is open to anyone living within the boundaries of the CVRD who is living on household income at or below the poverty line.

"In order to be fair we use the most recent Stats Canada LICO numbers, the Low Income Cut Offs, as published by the government. This covers people on social assistance, basic pensions, disability benefits, and the working poor. Studies have shown that if a program is available, over 80 per cent of low income people will get their pets spayed or neutered. Our experience over the last few years bears that out. As long as we are able to obtain funding for this program we will be working on reaching that 80 per cent figure." Applications will be available at Duncan Pets. There is a contribution of $15 per cat required which can be waived in special circumstances and proof of income must be submitted with the application. Anyone with questions about the program can call CCR at 250-743-6500 or send an email to cowcatrescue@shaw.ca Anyone interested in donating to this program can do so through Canada Helps on the CCR website at www.cowichancatrescue.org or contact CCR by mail, phone or email.